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A remembrance and tribute to Pastor David Dauwe of Ludlow’s 1st Baptist Church from one of his followers

By Joe Cotton
Special to NKyTribune

My wife Norma and I were devastated and heartbroken when we heard the news Monday from Gladys Trammel, Norma’s Sunday School teacher, that David Dauwe, pastor of Ludlow’s 1st Baptist Church, had passed away.

We couldn’t believe it….it was unfathomable. He was such a vital, charismatic, wonderful, active, confident, and healthy-looking man. He had a lovely wife, Jackie and two young teenagers at home.

Pastor David Dauwe at a baptism in his church (NKyTribune file photo)

A few months ago, my wife and I were looking for a new church to go to — one that didn’t have rock music services as is now the fad — something simple. We had attended a funeral at 1st Baptist Church in Ludlow, and it seemed to fit the bill, even though the minister seemed a little too aggressive for my taste.

So we went, and much to our delight, the former minister had been replaced by Pastor David Dauwe.

After the 1st sermon I was hooked. He was such an incredible preacher that I came back the next week to see if he could possibly top his first sermon….and he did. He was as good or better than any preacher I have ever watched on TV, or any preacher in any church I have ever attended.

But more than that, he believed it and believed in God, and God’s mercy. He was the real McCoy. He was friendly to everyone, and approachable, and always had a smile on his face. His flock loved him, and we loved him. He was a hard worker, and active — and had a Wednesday night prayer service. He also was determined to grow the church rolls and he created, supervised and participated in a program to visit every house in Ludlow with a gift bag containing a brochure about God and the 1st Baptist Church, and invited everyone to come and visit. His little group of faithful volunteers met on Wednesday or Tuesday afternoon and split up to canvass the neighborhoods.

And they came.

He changed a marginal, dying church into a living, breathing prosperous church. He is to be blessed.

When he died, something inside me died. I had had visions of many years of happiness for my wife and me attending that church — with David Dauwe at the center of it all — the creator of it all. And now he’s gone, and our dreams with it. I am sure everyone at the church feels the same way, and wonders why God would do such a thing to us all.

And now I can see how the disciples felt when Jesus left them.

We were astonished that no collection was taken up by anyone. Pastor Dauwe said that one could leave an offering in the box attached to the side of the pew in the third or fourth row.

See a NKyTribune feature story about Pastor Dauwe here.

Funeral details have not yet been announced.

Joe Cotton is a member of 1st Baptist Church. He lives in NKY and is a former bank manager and credit analyst who publishes Cotton’s Technically Speaking market newsletter.

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